By: Will Harper, Contributing Writer
The Wofford athletics programs had very solid campaigns in the 2016-17 school year. Many freshman played major roles in their respective programs, especially within the football, baseball and basketball teams. The football team had multiple first-year students play key roles, such as Blake Morgan who made a key catch to secure one of the victories against the Citadel, the basketball team’s entire second unit was made up of first-year students and the baseball team has two freshman in their lineup making big contributions. The incoming freshman next year no doubt will see their classmates do the same thing on the court, field and diamond.
The football team had a very successful season finishing 10-4, including two wins over the Citadel. Coach Mike Ayres is very excited about the new class of freshman as a whole. “Every time in practice we’ll see their film, and that will be their resume,” he says. “We’ll understand who is making progress and who is not.”
Despite a losing season of 16-17, the basketball program is excited for the next season. The program has three incoming players: 5’11” point guard Strom Murphy from Wisconsin, 6’8” forward Keve Aluma from Maryland, and 6’2” combo guard Tray Hollowell from Kentucky. Assistant Coach Dustin Kerns said, “We’re super excited–great kids, great basketball players and they fit Wofford really well.”
The baseball program, currently in season, is above .500, sitting at 20-17. They have solid incoming class as well, including two players Coach JJ Edwards spoke very highly of: OF Colin Davis and LHP Jake Dippold. Davis has a batting average over .400 and leads a top 10 team the nation in home runs. Dippold is from upstate New York where he was the Central New York Player of the Year. According to Edwards, Dippold worked in a bottling plant, which stretched out his hand allowing him to throw a nasty split changeup.
With new talent like this coming in to play next year, the excitement surrounding the athletics programs and their 2017-2018 seasons is understandable. Whether it is the basketball team looking to improve on their shaky season this year, the baseball team looking to add more pieces to their roster for those key situations or the football team looking to continue dominating Furman, Wofford is gaining athletes who can help make that happen during these coming seasons.